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Beating video sparks talks on discipline of children


The following is from the November 4, 2011, edition of USA Today. SMU Psychology Professor George Holden provided expertise for this story.

November 4, 2011

By Sharon Jayson

A video of a Texas judge punishing his daughter has led to investigations of the belt-wielding father and also launched a national conversation about discipline and spanking.

The graphic video of Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams hitting his then-16-year-old daughter for seven minutes as discipline for her use of an illegal computer file-sharing program has been viewed on YouTube more than 2.4 million times. Hillary Adams, now 23, posted the 2004 video.

Her father issued a statement saying she posted it after he threatened to end her financial support.

Local police and a state judicial panel are investigating, the Associated Press reported.

"This sort of voyeurism is an interesting situation, because the tape was surreptitiously made by the daughter," psychologist George Holden says. "People may find it fascinating too because spanking is part of our culture, but this is clearly an incident where it's gone way, way wrong."

Holden, of Southern Methodist University, says he is launching a new organization, the U.S. Alliance to End Hitting of Children.

Read the full story.

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